robin d. gill
art one-string experiment
P A R A V E R S E . O R G
Time will tell what will come to and from PARAVERSE dot ORG, or simply “the paraverse” as I think of this, my first website. At present our priority is publishing, for the emergence of economical Print On Demand allows quality work too innovative for large publishers to bet on (with offset, the publisher must print large runs to bring the price down) to be published at a decent price for the first time in history. Soon, publishing will become a free world, with authors calling the shots, as it should be. As our own publishers, we do not need to tour, when we – at least, I – would prefer to save our limited global resources and stay home to write. We can put our books out into the world and prove they have a readership without relying upon the chance encounter with the right agent or editor. And we are free to produce books in English liberally strewn with Chinese characters or boasting delightful (rather than academic) footnotes taking the lion’s share of the text, without being over-ruled by a gutless publisher who cannot imagine readers liking such things. In short, we may target bright readers without submitting to academic or market tyranny. Publishing is only a decade behind music. (After 7 years in business, we, or, I -- for "we" are still a one-man operation -- feel that lag. Despite a rave review for one book by the top person in the field and some other fine reviews by top academics in limited circulation journals, the mass media, including NPR(!) have yet to introduce, much yet review any of my books.
I was almost immediately picked up by the major media in Japan when I wrote there in the 1970's- to 80's.. Knowing my work appeals to a broad, albeit intellectual, readership, our conclusion must be that the major media in Usania does not employ people capable of judging books by their content, for otherwise there is no explanation for what they do and do not review. Readers with connections are invited to use them.
If you (like me) are disgusted with the crap on the NYT nonfiction best-seller's list -- at present (May-June, 2009) a right wing radio host is number one, for lack of competition) please do not assume, as I once did, that the problem is a lack of good books. There are any number of truly creative books out there. Surely, my books are not an exception. We do not know about them because the review establishment is either too lazy to read and select books for themselves, so they leave it up to their connections, or they are, like their radio counterparts, happy with being wined, dined and, perhaps worse: on the payolla. (Maybe I exaggerate and the only problem is that I do not spend much time doing publicity. My question to true book-lovers is this: Should one have to do much publicity? Do book-review editors not have a responsibility to introduce good books to their readers, whether or not publishers court them?)
Who can be surprised to see print newspapers start to fold? They make all sorts of excuses -- blame Google -- but if you ask me, the main reason is simply laziness. They overlooked what might interest their readers. If they overlooked me, who else have they failed to report upon?
Paraverse Press hopes it will soon prove to be the rule rather than the exception, that self-publishing will be seen in the same light that self-producing other forms of art are viewed rather than considered an exercise in vanity. Please note that the author-publisher like the self-produced singer-songwriter has chosen to exercise his or her freedom to create and is not necessarily a second-rate artist who could not find a conventional press. That press, as far as I can judge, no longer exists. I am told by academic friends that even with academic presses they get precious little editing help. If that be the case . . . why not do it yourself?
I am independent not by choice but because the greater good of literature now demands it.
Please visit paraverse press, the place for all who seek creative non-fiction that is not journalism, and participate in the POD revolution.
So, where does the word paraverse come from? Almost a quarter century ago, I tried to put a piece of prose into poetry and found that I could not settle on any single version as “the best.” The prose in question came from Japan’s Records of Ancient Matters, the line where the male deity observes that he has a part in excess and nowhere to put it, while the female deity observes she has the opposite dilemma. I thought of my dozen or so poems as paraverses, and only came to use the verb "to paraverse" years later. The variations on the single 6-character sentence from the Tao Te Ching found on the Welcome page were also done about this time, and show that this art need not confine itself to verse. After paraversing scores of ancient Japanese poems for fun, I began to translate haiku in earnest and this, finally, taught me that paraversing was not mere play but, surprisingly often, the only way to bring out the multi-faceted meanings of the original, without losing the wit through excessive explanation. (Googling teaches us that the common(?) paraverse was born in science fiction, but i did not know that when I first coined the term. Luckily, The Paraverse has room enough for all of us.)
Unlike most games, where a solution once achieved is worthless, a good paraverse is true literature, a keeper. Follow the paraversing link to learn more and, if you wish to do so, participate. Or see the book-length exposition published in 2009, A Dolphin in the Woods.
This coconut was eaten by
someone in Crandon Park
on Key Biscayne, Florida.
Now it is named Daruma.
Contacting Paraverse Press
please e-mail the author-publisher
at uncoolwabin AT hotmail DOT com
for any good reason
Or find me
at social networking sites
including Tim Spalding's Librarything,
a place all book-lovers should visit,
Redroom, a site for authors
where I have a hitherto
Though he has 95 cat years (# of cats x years with them), this is way out of Gill's field! See the full chapter listing and a sample of the 100 sketches in the book description or go to Google Books, see more and let the author know if the book works for you! Cover picture is on the New Books page.
The best of Mad In Translation gathered into a score of thematic chapters. Perhaps the best read of all Paraverse books. Find the cover on the New Books page. For the list of chapters, please see the Description. 2009. 300 pp, $24.
The translation and original of over 2000 poems representing the overlooked B-side of 31-syllable Japanese poetry. 2009. 740pp , $37. Please see the New Books page, the Description and table of contents and the The Errata.
of this book with almost 2,000 haiku about 20 themes
468 pgs. $28. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google, etc. have it
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. have it.
Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc. have it.
232 pgs, $15. Description here. Sample here. Reviews here.
Professors of comparative culture, translation and sociolinguistics, as well as all language-lovers, please take note!
180 pgs. $12.
Our First Book, First Edition.
by robin d. gill was published on October 31, 2003. The sudden appearance of this 1,100,000 character, 480 page book ($25), with 1000 haiku in Japanese and 2000+ translations in English, may well be the premiere creative nonfiction event of that year (in English). Rise, Ye Sea Slugs! should interest readers who appreciate essays, haiku and other poetry, natural history, biology, things Japanese, cultural anthropology, translation theory, metaphor and much more.
From Haiku: “Keigu (the author’s haiku name) is not interested in making yet another collection of masterpiece haiku. He would create an exhibition of sea cucumber [namako] and haiku or, to put it another way, a museum of poetic language.” – Saibara Tenki, host of informal on-line haiku “pub” Ukimidō. (Publisher’s note: The book includes a full explanation of why poetry demanded “sea cucumbers” become “sea slugs,” and, to compensate, some information on the nudibranch! )
From Literature: “Uke Namako (the Japanese title) is the most touching, fun, erudite, and altogether enjoyable thing I have read in ages. It is also the most intelligent approach to Japanese poetry I think I have ever seen. – Liza Dalby, anthropologist and author of Tale of Murasaki (and other fine Japan-related fiction and nonfiction, including Kimono and Geisha)
From Science: “It's amazing; I absolutely love it. I've spent many years studying my little friends and have always felt that they have been unkindly maligned or forgotten. The contrast between Japanese and European literature on cukes [sea cucumbers] couldn’t be greater . . . Alas, the divide between science and literature, even in terminology much less in theory, is quite vast at points and I admire your blending of the two in a deep and satisfying way.” – Dr. Alexander Kerr, habitat evolution biologist, James Cook University).
If you think this is something, see the Reviews!